Firearms And Liberty - Shade's Landing Inc. Carry Permit MN

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Carry in National Parks in MN

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I spoke with the Chief Ranger in Voyagers today. His name is Jim Hummel. He previously issued a statement regarding the carry of firearms into Voyagers.
Here was the press release from the park:

"As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under federal, Minnesota, and local laws, to possess firearms in Voyageurs National Park. It is the visitor’s responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws. The firearms laws of Minnesota prohibit the possession of Rifles, Shotguns or BB guns in public places such as Voyageurs National Park, so this new federal law does not alter the existing regulatory restrictions on the possession of these firearms at Voyageurs National Park. In addition, Federal law prohibits firearms in tour boats and certain facilities in this park; those places are posted with signs at public entrances. If you have questions, please contact the Chief Ranger at 218-283-6600."

I informed him that there were a couple of inaccuracies in the release. In particular, rifles and shotguns and BB guns can be unloaded and cased while in a vehicle and can be brought into the park, and secondly, MN law does not prohibit rifles and shotguns and BB guns in public places by permit holders.

He stated that he had at first thought that was correct, but a friend of his (who he stated is a Chief of Police) stated "...that is not correct. Permit holders have a permit to carry a pistol and not a rifle or shotgun."

OK - but the plain language of 624.7181 does state that "carry" does not apply to those with a permit to carry a pistol issued pursuant to 624.714.

Here is 624.7181 :
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624.7181 RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS IN PUBLIC PLACES.

Subdivision 1.Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them.
(a) "BB gun" means a device that fires or ejects a shot measuring .18 of an inch or less in diameter.

(b) "Carry" does not include:

(1) the carrying of a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun to, from, or at a place where firearms are repaired, bought, sold, traded, or displayed, or where hunting, target shooting, or other lawful activity involving firearms occurs, or at funerals, parades, or other lawful ceremonies;

(2) the carrying by a person of a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun that is unloaded and in a gun case expressly made to contain a firearm, if the case fully encloses the firearm by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied, or otherwise fastened, and no portion of the firearm is exposed;

(3) the carrying of a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun by a person who has a permit under section 624.714;

(4) the carrying of an antique firearm as a curiosity or for its historical significance or value; or

(5) the transporting of a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun in compliance with section 97B.045.

(c) "Public place" means property owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental unit and private property that is regularly and frequently open to or made available for use by the public in sufficient numbers to give clear notice of the property's current dedication to public use but does not include: a person's dwelling house or premises, the place of business owned or managed by the person, or land possessed by the person; a gun show, gun shop, or hunting or target shooting facility; or the woods, fields, or waters of this state where the person is present lawfully for the purpose of hunting or target shooting or other lawful activity involving firearms.

Subd. 2.Penalties. Whoever carries a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun on or about the person in a public place is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. A person under the age of 21 who carries a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon, as defined in section 624.712, subdivision 7, on or about the person in a public place is guilty of a felony.

Subd. 3.Exceptions. This section does not apply to officers, employees, or agents of law enforcement agencies or the armed forces of this state or the United States, or private detectives or protective agents, to the extent that these persons are authorized by law to carry firearms and are acting in the scope of their official duties.

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I asked for the name and jurisdiction for the Chief he used, and he would not give me his name. Ranger Hummel stated he "did not like me stirring things up for him". Ummmm... I told him I was more concerned with him and his CHief friend having a clear and accurate understanding of the law so innocent people don't get charged with a crime. I further told him that we have lawyers we've worked with that will be happy to write a cordial letter to the Chief to simply clarify the law. He still would not give me the Chief's name.

While we had what I consider to be a "nice" and cordial conversation, I had the distinct feeling Ranger Hummel was not pleased to hear what I had to say about the press release.

Ranger Hummel did say he would revisit it with the Chief. My next call will be to the park Superintendent Mike Ward. If you plan to contact him, here is his contact information:

James Hummel. Chief Ranger, Voyagers National Park Service. 3131 Highway 53. International Falls, MN 56649-8904. Office: 218 -283-9107, ext. 6156. I reached him through the 6600 number given in the press release.

GS
**** UPDATE - 04-16-2010 ****

Received calls from both Mike Musich (Chief of Police International Falls) and from Jim Hummel, Chief Ranger in Voyagers. Jim stated he had heard back from their legal team who agreed with the interpretation of 624.7181 as I stated it a couple of days ago. I had suggested that they seek a legal opinion and not rely on the discussion they had amongst themselves.

Glad to report something still works. And I am impressed with the honesty of two public servants who want to do the right thing. It's very refreshing to see and hear.

In the Chief Ranger's own words (archived forever now in voicemail heaven), "...long guns can be carried in a public place if the individual has a permit to carry" and "...We'll adjust here internally so that long guns will be permitted in the park if an individual has a permit to carry."

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Written by Gary

Tuesday 13 April 2010 at 3:42 pm

Posted in News & Editorials

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